Digitalised markets pose ever new challenges, making a precise understanding of the underlying market structures and developments increasingly important. With these challenges in mind, the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (AFCA), the Austrian Communications Authority (KommAustria) and the Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications (RTR) with its Telecommunications and Postal Division (RTR.Telekom.Post) and Media Division (RTR Medien) have decided to intensify their working relationships and signed mutual agreements covering their respective remits. The agreements are aimed at strengthening regulatory tools by using available synergies, as well as gaining in-depth knowledge of these marketplaces.This will help tackle the challenges posed by the digital age and also help answer complex questions more efficiently.
“This agreement should enlarge our mutual knowledge of digital markets, regulate the exchange of information and experience among us signatories and set priorities for effective cooperation. Our primary focus is on competition questions and issues in relation to digital media and platform regulation,” explains Michael Ogris, Chairperson of KommAustria.
“The media are exposed to strong national and international competition. New market participants are pushing into the market, offering new content and also using new infrastructures. The distribution of media content in the digital environment is shifting to more and more platforms,” adds Wolfgang Struber, Managing Director RTR Medien. “In such an environment, questions and issues of competition and media law cannot be resolved in isolation, and an interdisciplinary approach is becoming increasingly vital.”
“RTR.Telekom.Post and AFCA have worked together closely and excellently in their respective capacities for some years now. We formalised our cooperation with a Memorandum of Understanding in 2022, and this has contributed significantly to safeguarding lasting competition in the telecommunications and postal markets. We are happy that RTR Medien and KommAustria have joined us in our efforts. We will now be able to tackle the regulatory issues of the digital transformation together. And as these issues are frequently cross-cutting issues, our cooperation will help us secure Austria’s competitiveness in all of the sectors we regulate,” says Klaus M. Steinmaurer, Managing Director of RTR.Telekom.Post.
“The AFCA has dealt with the effects of digitalisation on competition for many years. We have successfully proceeded against platforms, and always use the latest investigation methods. Right now we are in the process of expanding our forensics capacities to include data science and AI expertise. I look forward to working together with our two partner institutions on even closer terms,” states Natalie Harsdorf-Borsch of the AFCA.